Medium RIP?

So Medium is laying off 1/3 of it’s staff. It’s a popular blogging site (I considered moving) so many tech folks are commenting about it.

One of the founders of Basecamp wrote a fairly brutal post, Venture capital is going to murder Medium. You have to understand that Basecamp (formerly 37signals) is an uncommon tech proponent of the radical concept of charging for things and actually making a profit. I’ll put my biases on the table. Our company Origami Risk is 100% bootstrapped and profitable. We get to make decisions entirely based on what we think is best. There’s nothing wrong with VC money, but you have to know what you are signing up for. From the blog post:

I don’t think we’ll grow old together, Medium and I. I suspect it’ll end quite tragic, actually. $132,000,000 is a lot of money after all, and that’s how much venture capital Medium has been dipped in. Before having a prayer or a song about how to turn into that multi-billion-dollar business it must to satisfy the required rate of return.

The clock started running three years ago when $25,000,000 of Series A growth dynamite was rigged. That means they’re about half ways until the bomb explodes, and so far the company doesn’t seem much luck finding the code that’ll disarm.

That’s the thing about taking VC money. They expect a nice return on investment, generally in about 5 years.


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